Tag Archives: restaurant

Wiener Schnitzel in the Woods

My final full day in Austria was spent with Lisi’s family, who meet up each Christmas. We travelled across the city and out towards a nearby village, via this fetching building – apparently the longest residential building in Europe at over 1km long. You can read more about Karl Marx-Hof here.


We eventually arrived at Der Waldhof in Maria Gugging, which oozed character from the very beginning. Could it look any cuter?


Even the taxidermy was feeling the festive spirit.


And what else would you eat in an Austrian cabin in the woods? Wiener schnitzel and apple and potato salad of course!



The decorations were simple and effective, and the bid windows let in plenty of light and a view of the surrounding trees.


Even the signs on the toilet doors were very cute.



The food was good, and some of us headed out for a little walk afterwards to blow away the cobwebs. Coming out into the snow was a big shock to the system after the cosy woodburner in the restaurant.


On our walk we went through an outdoor church, Lourdesgrotte.


After our walk, we all went back to a family home for tea and cake, before heading home for the evening and packing!


Goodbye to the Salem Network…

While Sellappan ran some errands, I spent the day relaxing and playing with the millions of photos we’d taken on our trips. Zubair popped over and we all had some snacks thanks to Sellappan’s mam.

Later in the evening, Sellappan and I went to see the Doctor at his surgery. As we were chatting there was a sudden rush of patients, so we left and Sellappan took me to a department store where he wanted to get a souvenir for me. He ended up choosing a stainless steel dinner set – I had asked for a plate, which was included in the set – and he got it engraved with the dates of my trip. It’s common practice to engrave cookware with names. As Sellappan’s birthday was coming up, he also needed to get some party supplies like paper cups and plates, so we got those too.

We paid a visit to a kitchen showroom for Sellappan’s mam, accompanied by Zubair. We also went quickly to a CD/DVD shop to get the soundtrack for Highway, the Hindi film we had enjoyed so much. We even managed to squeeze in a few more minutes with the Doctor, seeing as his rush had subsided.

We went to a restaurant and met up with the whole Salem network for a meal. The young waiter ran around for us like the floor was made lava, and we got lots of different dishes. I finished off my meal with a sweet lime juice which was very tasty. All too soon it was time to say goodbye to everyone, and we left to the sound of “Happy Birthday” and “Safe journey home”.


Closing Time, or, The Day I Beat Myself Up

Today I suffered from a clumsiness epidemic which started more or less as soon as I got up, as I put my face in the wrong place when Sellappan stretched. I’m sure it looked very funny as I got smacked on the bridge of the nose!

Unfortunately Sellappan lost a glove yesterday, so the first thing to do was to go to Decathalon and get a new pair. On the way down the stairs he passed me the flat keys, and I chose this moment to slip off a step and land on my backside. If you’re counting, that’s two! We set off across town to pick them up and discovered them in a sale bin for a bargain price! Phew! We came back and went to food point for breakfast and to pick up my packed lunch. Breakfast was idly and vada with coconut chutney, tomato chutney and some veg korma. For lunch I went for my tried and rested parotta and egg masala – a boiled egg in an onion and tomato sauce. Sellappan dropped me off at home and went to work.

I spent the day in the flat wondering what my third injury of the day would be and feeling very suspicious of inanimate objects, I chose to sort out my suitcase a bit as everything was very jumbled. I sat on the floor next to the bed and sorted it all out, but THWAK! I bashed my knee on the wooden bedframe… Ouch! At least that was the third one out of the way!

I got a call when Sellappan got back to the apartment to come down as Mohan and Kowshalya were coming to dinner with us. We went to a non-veg restaurant which was just about to close (they must have loved us….) and had a huge and varied meal which consisted of plain rice with fish gravy, mutton gravy, chicken gravy, mutton fry, a chicken dish, another fish dish, some potato, buttermilk and something which might have been rasam but I didn’t get that far! There was also a boiled egg. I should say that most of the gravies are very thin and everything is served in little cups – the emphasis is on the variety and not the quantity.

The Spread, with Mohan's hand

It all had a bit too much chilli for me, but I wasn’t the only one who noticed! We managed most of it, with Mohan definitely taking the hollow-legs crown that evening. We finished off with a small cup of dessert. By this time all the other chairs were up on the tables and sections of the restaurant had its lights off! Whoops. We had a sprinkling of brightly coloured mouth freshener on the way out. As if this wasn’t enough, we stopped on the way home for sweet paan (no thanks) and made it back to the apartment at about midnight.

Christmas Markets

I got a letter last week from the nice train people in Marseille. They thanked me for my refund request of a while ago and are assuring me they’re looking into the problem. It’s taken long enough!

Yesterday I went on a trip with Sellappan to Colmar and Kaysersberg in Alsace. We set off early in the morning catching the train to Colmar, hoping to get to Kaysersberg early enough to spend the morning there. Unfortunately, there was a lack of buses between 8 and 11am, meaning that we ended up starting our day in Colmar instead. We had a quick look around the markets, and did some souvenir shopping.

We got the bus to Kaysersberg at about 11, reaching Kaysersberg half an hour later, after a nice trip though the vineyards of the Lower Vosges. Kaysersberg is a beautiful little place, full of gingerbread houses and meandering streets. The atmosphere was amazing, with everyone wandering around wearing santa hats and clutching mugs of steaming mulled wine. Someone even had a bubblemaker spitting soapbubbles into the streets. There was a lot of street entertainment too, ranging from a white Charlie Chaplin style living statue, who enchanted all the passing children, to the obligatory old lady playing the accordion.

The cold added to the general festivity, as everyone huddled together around the market stalls or tried to jam into the already-full restaurants. We needed the hot wine to keep us feeling warm in the street, the only heat coming from the occasional shop we went into, mostly for the heat, too. I came across a shop selling minatures of every liqueur imaginable, including one made from spiced bread – an Alsace tradition – and found some good Christmas gifts.

On the way back from Kaysersberg we bumped into three of the other assistants on their way to Colmar too, so we all wandered around together, taking in most of the markets. As everyone knows, the best thing about Christmas markets is the food, so we made the most of the free samples and got some hotdogs with sauerkraut.

The place was packed, and as the Christmas lights came on we headed home again, to get warm!

This Friday was the Christmas meal for all the teachers working with the assistants. We went to a Moroccan restaurant…for five hours. This is pretty short for French meal standards, and we had a good time chatting. I had meatballs and couscous, followed by ice cream. Not the most Moroccan thing I could have chosen, but very nice all the same. The meal was accompanied by delicious Moroccan bread, which reminded me somewhat of the stotties back home, but darker in colour and slightly spicy.

The terminales and I are getting on quite well now, and they worked hard on their presentations, so we’re having a fun week this week, with minimal writing down of things. I asked each Thursday class what they wanted to do, and they all agreed to learn some Scottish country dancing from me, which I’m hardly qualified to teach, but at least they’ll be bouncing about in the right general direction to some music they’ve not heard before. I’m really looking forward to Thursday!